by EBSCO Medical Review Board


Medicines may be used to treat certain types of hearing loss. They may include:

  • Antibiotics—to treat hearing loss caused by ear infection
  • Oral steroids—to ease viral inflammation of the acoustic nerve

Earwax Removal

Removing earwax can bring back hearing caused by earwax buildup. A softener is put into the ear to loosen the wax. It may be mineral oil, baby oil, or glycerin. Warm water is put into the ear with a syringe. Tilting the head will release the water. This process may need to be done a few times before the wax comes out. The doctor can also remove wax with a special tool or suction device.

Treating Other Health Problems

Hearing loss can be improved by treating health problems that cause it. Some examples are tumors and heart disease.

Stopping or Changing Medicines

Some hearing loss is caused by or made worse by some medicines. The medicine may be stopped or changed to one that does not affect hearing. Common medicines that affect hearing are:

  • Streptomycin and gentamicin
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Diuretics
  • Steroids
  • Heart medicine
  • Anesthetics
  • Quinine
  • Aspirin-containing drugs


Cerumen impaction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 12, 2022.

Hearing loss and older adults. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) website. Available at: Accessed May 12, 2022.

Michels TC, Duffy MT, et al. Hearing Loss in adults: differential diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2019;100(2):98-108.

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed May 12, 2022.

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